Everyone knows how easy it is to do a search for a specific photo on google and instantly use any of images that come up for whatever purpose we see fit - but how would you feel if some stranger took the photos you shared of your kids, or your kitchen, or your dog Penelope and used them to promote their business? You'd probably be pretty angry - so why would you do it to someone else? Maybe you just don't want to spend any money - and that's totally fine! There are a TON of great resources on the web for photos that are free to use without any bad karma :)) The list below are are all sites that I've used myself while working on a bare-bones or non-existent budget.
|This week's Free image on iStock|
PROS: Super easy to search through, always high quality photography, available in large sizes great for print or web, 4 different free images per month. You won't have to credit the photographer when use the photo. And you can't beat the 10 free credit deal.
CONS: Free photos of the week are usually very specific images, might not be generic enough for your needs, you'll most likely need to check the site weekly and build up image overtime
|"Walking" photo from Freerange Stock|
PROS: Great search feature & lots of different photo content. You won't have to credit the photographer.
CONS: Varying levels of talent in contributing photographers, lots of ads on the site
|Ornate Tiles photo from CG Textures|
PROS: High quality photos, & great selection of subject matter. Especially good site for illustrators & designers who want to digitally add textures to their work. No photo credit needed.
CONS: Photos are mainly geared to be used as a addition to another design, not as a stand-alone piece.
|Totally free photo from Wikimedia|
PROS: HUGE and I do mean HUGE database of images, with particularly good health, & science & historical images.
CONS: So big, it can be hard to navigate. Since anyone can contribute, there are varying levels of quality in the photos. If you are looking for very commercial looking stock images, this is not the best site. You also may need to credit the photographer, which may not be ideal for all commercial use.
|Photo Credit: Hussain Didi on Flickr|
PROS: Great selection of historical images in The Commons, and you won't need to credit the photographer. Some really great modern & artsy stuff can be found in the Creative Commons section. Very easy to share, download, or embed images in multiple sizes.
CONS: You will need to credit the photographer for anything used from Creative Commons & the multiple copyright scenarios can be confusing.
|Official US President Photo!|
PROS: So. much. stuff. All taken by professional photographers. And if you're a journalist or blogger, these photos are pure gold, with almost no restrictions.
CONS: You can't use the president's image in a way that implies he personally endorses whatever you might be selling. darn.
7) Google Image Search: Yeah, I know I told you in the first paragraph NOT to use google image search, but I lied, you can. But only in a specific way- by adding a filter to your search. Search for the image subject, then click on> Search Tools, and choose> Labeled for reuse. Google will do a search of free images on wikimedia, Flickr, deviantart, clip art sites and more. Always click on the image and go to> Visit Site to get the exact copyright specs.
PROS: The world's your oyster.
CONS: You'll need to have a specific subject in mind before you search, no random browsing. Much harder to find images where no credit is required, since they get mixed together with ones with attribution (credit required) licenses.
|Photo Credit: Brian Ochalla on Flickr|
Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go find some chocolate.